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Final Fat Burning Results and Maintenance

Final Fat Burning Results and Maintenance

The target you're shooting for is a healthy, lean and toned body, along with flat abs and the kind of self-confidence that can only come from knowing that you look great. Depending upon your fitness level and your weight when you start, it might take a matter of months to get where you want to go. Don't let that stop you. If you don't ever start, you won't ever get there.


Experts say that the best way to lose weight is through both diet and exercise and that you should have a target of 1 to 2 pounds per week. This might not seem like much and you might feel that if you really cut back on your food intake and exercised even more, you could increase this rate drastically. And that's probably true.


But the bottom line is that you need to lose weight at a pace that is comfortable for your body and lets you maintain your health. You are much, much, much more likely to keep that weight off if you lose it at a reasonable, steady rate than if you lose it at a ridiculously fast rate.


And why would you go to the trouble of losing weight and working out to tone your abs and the rest of your body if you can't keep the weight off?


Your final results aren't going to look like anyone else's final results. Remember that you still might not look just like your favorite star. They have an advantage that we don't – it's called airbrushing.


As I mentioned earlier in this book, for a woman to maintain a weight like that of most of our most famous female entertainers, she would have to keep her caloric intake to 900 or fewer calories a day!


That's just not healthy. It doesn't matter what Hollywood says!


So, whether you're a woman or a man, your final results are going to be based on your own body's make up, and where you started as far as weight and fitness level.


You can definitely drop the pounds and burn the fat. You can definitely get abs that you feel proud of and are even willing to show off at the beach. You can definitely get to a point where you love your body and you feel more confident and ready to face the world.


How to Maintain All That You've Gained


You've lost the weight and you have a nice, flat tummy with some awesome definition to it. Besides that, you've found that the rest of your body is looking pretty good too! Now it's time to go into maintenance mode.


It seems that for some, maintenance is just as daunting as the actual process of losing weight and shaping up. But really, it's quite simple to keep your body where it's at, now that it's where you want it to be. Just like losing weight and getting into beach-ready shape, it will take discipline and dedication, but it will be well worth it.


Your first step to weight and fitness maintenance is to continue to keep it healthy. This means eating sensibly and with your health in mind, and continuing to exercise on a daily basis.


Following the same basic eating plan that you used to lose weight is a good place to start. You don't need to keep losing weight, so your intake may change a bit, but you do need to remember that especially for keeping the belly at bay, you have to keep the momentum going with regulating your fat intake.


We've talked about fat. You do need some fats in your diet, or your body won't function right and your health will suffer. So that's okay – just keep eating the right kinds of fats and avoid the wrong kinds like you'd avoid a big hairy spider or a brain-eating zombie or driving over a bunch of broken glass in a parking lot.


We've also talked about all of the other food groups, what's healthy to drink, and why it's important to remember to balance everything out. If you want to stay trim and firm, your foundation is going to be proper nutrition.


Does this mean that you can't ever have a piece of birthday cake again, or a plate of nachos? No. But it's a tradeoff. You trade that big piece of cake for a nice firm belly. Have a small piece of cake or a few bites of the nachos.


Keep your diet healthy. That's a huge part of how you're going to get to your goal and how you'll stay there.


Besides the healthy diet, you must also continue with a healthy exercise plan. One that involves exercising each and every day. If you want flat abs, you're going to have to commit yourself to that. Thirty minutes out of every day of your life is reasonable to expect.


Continue with the program you used to get in shape, which will involve cardio workouts, strengthening moves, stretching and working with weights. If you notice that things aren't staying in the shape you'd like, ramp it up a bit.


People who keep their bodies in top shape are those who are willing to spend time each day moving it and working it.


Besides focusing on your abs, remember that you need to approach your fitness in multiple ways. Work your abs, but keep the rest of your body in mind, too. Weight loss and a toned look are only achievable and maintainable when you work all your muscle groups, firming your entire body.


The basis of maintenance is also going to mean focusing on healthy habits. This will help you feel good, resist disease and look fantastic.


Your Workout Routines


We've discussed the need to vary your workouts while you're in the process of getting into better shape. It's the same when maintaining your form. Your body, as well as your mind needs to stay interested, not bored, in what's going on.


Be sure to continue to follow the guidelines we've already covered for varying your workouts. This will keep your muscle groups “on their toes.”


·         Create a well-rounded program with enough variety in it to keep your body and mind challenged.


·         When doing cardio activities, vary the distance, speed and intensity of your workouts.


·         For strengthening workouts that may or may not involve using light weights, make some workouts more intense.


When You Feel Weak and Tempted to Be Lazy or Eat Poorly


It's inevitable that this is going to happen. You're going to say to yourself, “I'm going to eat that whole cheesecake and I'm not going to exercise today and I don't care.” It's a rare person who doesn't feel this way at some point during weight loss and shaping up, and then also when they are in maintenance mode. We're humans – we get tempted to do things that might not be the best for us.


Here is my advice to you:


First, don't fool yourself and assume that you're never going to feel tempted to overeat, eat the wrong things or sit on the sofa and watch TV when you should be exercising. Instead, assume that it will happen and have a plan to head off temptation.


When those moments come along, get out your box of motivational tools. Better yet, make your motivational tools so visible that you can't help but see them on your way to get the cheesecake or when you're sitting in front of the TV.


Take a look at what you've gathered. Your before and after photos. Your journals. Your list of quotes and affirmations. The size tag from your fat pants and from your slim pants. Whatever you've put together to help yourself toward your goal. Your goal now is to remain healthy, slim and toned – not to eat a bag of chips while sitting on your front porch.


But what happens if you give in to temptation?


First off, don't make yourself feel more guilty or suffer more than is necessary. Yes, you need to call yourself out for your mistake. You need to have a good talk with yourself and you need to make an effort to understand why you did what you did.


Then you need to get back on track. Forgive yourself and stop beating yourself up and begin again this very minute. You can still workout today. You can find ways to cut a few calories and a bit of fat out of your meals tomorrow to help offset the damage you did today (just don't go overboard – remember to keep it healthy).


If it will help, write about it in your journal. Maybe you had a really lousy day at work and you just felt that eating a carton of ice cream would make you feel better. Did it? Keep track of the things that trigger these problem behaviors so you can head them off in the future.


The Motivational Toolbox


The toolbox has been covered in other parts of this book, but it's worth revisiting. Most of us need to have reminders of why we're doing what we're doing, and different things will work for different people. Consider the following for your motivational toolbox:


·         Photos of you before you started working on your weight loss and fitness goals and then photos of your progress and you when you reach your final goal.


·         A food and exercise journal.


·         An experiences, feelings, moods and situations journal.


·         A list of people you can turn to for support and positive encouragement.


·         A list of quotes and affirmations that help you feel strong, confident and able.


·         Rewards


What to Avoid From Here on Out


Your new body is going to demand that you avoid certain things pretty much for the rest of your life. We already talked about avoiding giving in to the temptations of foods that are a) unhealthy and b) going to contribute to weight gain. That's a basic law of maintaining a slim waistline.


We also talked about the fact that you need to avoid being lazy when it comes to your workouts. You need to get exercise every day for the rest of your life (a day off once in a blue moon or if you're sick or injured is acceptable).


But what else should you avoid?


One thing that you need to strive to keep away from is people who might negatively affect your progress. This might seem harsh because often it's friends and family who say, “Oh, it's not going to hurt you to have another helping of lasagna.”


But the truth is that if you give in every time someone encourages you to join them in their eating, drinking or other habits, you might be harming your efforts at maintaining your newly found slim shape.


Keep in mind that in order to live healthier, you might need to see less of or hang out less with certain people who might encourage you to slip into your old and unhealthy habits. This doesn't mean that you have to cut them out of your life though.


Another type of person to avoid or limit your exposure to is people who just make you feel bad – whether it's bad about yourself or about life in general. Many of us overeat and get lazy and complacent when we have negative or angry feelings.


Try to surround yourself with people who are understanding and encouraging, and who won't try to tempt you to “be bad” (whether they realize they're doing it or not).


If there were spots (restaurants, pubs and bars, etc) that you used to visit, or habits you used to have that made you feel like eating things that aren't good for you, you will also want to avoid those and find new places and things to do where you're not so heavily required to rely on your willpower to overcome being tempted.


I know this section sounds like you're a drug addict trying to avoid starting up an old and harmful habit. In a way though, that's what's happening. Old habits of overeating, eating the wrong foods and inactivity are addicting and are harmful.


You're developing healthy new habits and a healthy, sleek new body. You're going to have to make and keep some changes in order to keep that healthy, great-looking body intact.


What If You Start to Gain Weight Again?


Your weight is going to fluctuate a little. If you go up a few pounds and then down a few pounds, that's fine. It's not a big deal. But if you start to go up a few pounds and then a couple more and then a few more, you're headed for trouble. Stop it before it gets out of hand!


There are a few things you must do if your weight begins to go up too much:


·         Immediately go back to your diet plan – the one you used to lose weight. Be ruthless about this. Find out where you're overdoing it and put a stop to it!


·         Ramp up your exercise. If you're on a maintenance plan of 30 minutes per day, add another 15 minutes or make your 30-minute workouts more intense.


·         Get out that motivational toolbox and make use of it.


·         Ask for help. If you are part of a support group or you and a friend or two are working together, sound the alarm and get some extra encouragement and support.


·         If you begin to gain weight and your efforts to correct the situation aren't working, see your doctor to rule out any health problems.


What If You Get Sick or Have an Injury?


It's going to happen. You're going to be in the middle of your weight loss and fitness program or in maintenance mode and you're going to come down with a nasty cold or the flu or twist your ankle or pull a muscle.


The good news is that as you become healthier through eating right and getting plenty of the right kinds of exercise, you help decrease the risk of getting sick or having an injury because your immune system will be much stronger and your body will also be physically stronger and more able to protect itself from injuries. The bad news is that it can still happen.


So what if you find yourself in this situation?


If you've come down with an illness such as the flu, it's best to rest your body and allow it to heal itself. There is no need to stress it by pushing it with exercise. It needs its energy to fight the virus that's invaded it.


Keep up with the good nutrition because this will help your immune system win the battle more quickly and efficiently.


If you feel up to it, you can take a walk or go for a swim or a bike ride, but just don't overdo anything – your body seriously needs its energy right now.  As you begin to feel better, you can gradually work your way back into your regular exercise routine.


If you become seriously ill and require the treatment of a doctor, you will also want to consult with your doctor or health care professional as to when you can start working out at full strength again.


If you've experienced an injury, you will need to pay special attention to not worsening the injury to the area involved. Often this only means that you have to adjust your workouts until the injury is fully healed.


Again, if the injury is such that you've had to seek medical treatment, you will need to consult with your doctor before you start to exercise that area again.


While it's disappointing that you may have to stop working out for a while due to illness or injury, it would be more disappointing if you made the situation worse by pushing yourself before your body is ready for the stress or strenuous exercise.


Keep up with your healthy eating plan and do what you can.


Become a Mentor to Help You Maintain


Sometimes the best way to help ourselves is to help someone else. This can be especially true when it comes to weight loss and fitness. If you've been there and done that, you can identify with the struggles that others experience on their own journey.


Once you've gotten to the point of having lost the weight that you set out to lose and created a body that is toned, featuring abs that anyone would be thrilled to have, you're in a position to help others create their own perfect body.


I'm not really suggesting that you suddenly advertise yourself as a fitness expert and become a “guru” for health and fitness. I'm suggesting that if the opportunity arises where you are able to help someone else reach their own goals by encouraging them, maybe by working out with them, and giving them some useful tips, you're not only helping them, you're going to be reinforcing in your own mind and your own life what you need to do to stay trim.


Helping others out makes you accountable for your actions. You can't tell someone else to get exercise if you're not doing it yourself. You can't give tips on how to eat right for weight loss, unless you're also following a healthy eating plan for weight loss or weight maintenance once you've lost your weight.


This is an incredibly effective way to keep yourself on track when it comes to maintaining your weight and your new and improved body.


The program I've given you isn't a miracle diet or a miracle set of 5 exercises to make you look like a star. It's a common-sense program. Work it and you'll see the results. In fact, if you follow it, you'll see great results.


You can get fantastic abs and a toned body in 30 minutes per day – it's possible. But you have to commit yourself and be dedicated. You have to eat well – the right foods in the correct portions, if you want it to work.


Yes, you can blast fat and build abs in 30 minutes a day! You can have that beautiful body, more confidence and yes, better chances in today's job market, with dates and in relationships. You can be healthier and have a stronger immune system.


Have confidence in yourself to do this! It will be well worth the effort and time you put into it. It is truly an investment in yourself and your future.

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